Angora yarn is soft, affordable luxury
At Önling we are very fond of angora yarn, and one of our primary yarns, Önling No 1, is made from a combination of angora wool and merino wool. Önling No 1 is among our bestselling yarns, and a constantly popular classic among our Önling yarns. And no surprise there, because Önling No 1 is a unique yarn in the market, with a combination of qualities that cannot be found elsewhere. Angora wool is extremely soft and gives a yarn that is just as soft and luxurious as cashmere yarn. However, angora yarn gives you far more value for money, as cashmere wool is a very scarce resource, and a combination of cashmere and merino wool will often cost you double the price of angora and merino wool yarn. Angora wool is rarely used on its own, as pure angora yarn would be very warm, very fluffy, and very expensive. When angora wool is combined with merino wool, it is possible to make better use of the qualities of angora fibers and create yarn with better functionality and wider applicability. For inspiration in terms of what to knit with angora yarn see our Knitting kits with angora yarn or Knitting patterns for angora yarn here, or read more below.
What is angora wool?
Angora wool is for many an exotic and little-known fiber for yarn, so when we talk about angora yarn, we meet a lot of questions, particularly about the origin of angora yarn, e.g. "what is angora yarn made of?" and "where does angora wool come from?". So let us clarify that right away: Angora wool is wool from angora rabbits. There is an understandable confusion about angora, as there is also a particular breed of goats known as angora goats. These goats are also known for their precious wool, but the wool from angora goats is called mohair. You can read more about angora goats and mohair yarn here.
Angora wool and animal welfare
For our Önling No 1 angora yarn, we only use angora wool certified by Caregora, to ensure the animal welfare of the rabbits that contribute to the production. Caregora ensures selected and certified angora fibers and guarantees a high quality of fibers as well as the highest level of animal welfare and responsibility in the supply chain. The certification is verified by an independent company specialized in certification services, and you can read more about the requirements, monitoring etc. of Caregora here. Additionally, it is important to emphasize, that angora rabbits are sheared, much like sheep, and the angora fibers are therefore obtained with no harm to the animals, and the rabbits are not killed for angora wool. Angora rabbits are generally kept by small farmers, where a focus on animal welfare gives the highest quality of fibers.
Why knit with angora yarn?
Angora wool and its unique fibers give angora yarn a whole range of amazing qualities, which in combination makes angora yarn luxurious and well suitable for knitting:
- Angora yarn is first and foremost extremely soft, and therefore a real treat both to work with and to wear.
- Furthermore, angora wool is airy and lighter than other types of wool, and among the lightest natural fibers in the world, which contributes to making it so comfortable to wear.
- Angora fibers have the best heat retention among natural fibers, and it is 2 to 3 times more isolating than wool. So, if you want to knit a sweater that can keep you warm, angora yarn is amazing.
- With angora you get a stunning result, as angora has a beautiful and silk like shine - actually, angora rabbits have historically been known as silk rabbits.
- In day-to-day use, angora yarn is also exceptionally functional and long lasting. It is easy to dye and maintain the color, it is non-odor absorbent, and easy to care for. For instance, it is possible to machine wash our Önling No 1 (NOTE washing machines differ, so always remember to test your washing machine by washing your gauge swatch first).
What to knit with angora yarn?
As mentioned above angora yarn is extremely soft and have amazing isolating qualities, and angora yarn is therefore a good choice for knitting everything you need to keep you warm - no matter whether that is cozy sweaters and cardigans, or warm winter accessories such a mittens, hats, shawls, and scarves. Önling No 1 is suitable for needles US size 6-8 (4-5mm), and it is available in many beautiful colors, and therefore we use it among other things for Nordic and Icelandic sweaters such as Draka Sweater, which looks stunning when knit in Önling No 1. Angora yarn can also be used to knit fine lace patterns, see Peacock shawl as an example, or cable knit as seen on Cozy Cardigan. Since angora yarn is soft and fluffy many knitting techniques will not be sharply outlined but you will get a soft look and a great hand-feel.